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Which US based airlines fly to London?

Old Apr 9th, 2002, 08:30 PM
  #1  
jamie
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Which US based airlines fly to London?

Also, what is the recommended means of transport from Heathrow to your hotel - cab or train? You know how in Rome all the travel books tell you to take the train, but those in the know recommend AVOIDING the train and taking a cab.

Is it similar for London? How long is the cab ride on average from the airport?
 
Old Apr 9th, 2002, 08:54 PM
  #2  
Jeff
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It depends where you are flying from. From JFK, both AA and UA fly into LHR.

But I prefer VS and BA and I'll tell you why. The service is somewhat better on those two; at least I think so. Secondly, since most of the pax on those airlines are not Americans, when you arrive back at JFK the queues at immigration for Americans are very very short. Of course, there is still the wait at the carousel for baggage.

Now the second question is harder to answer. Personally, I like to take the tube into central London. I takes about 45 - 50 minutes and since I will be buying a travelcard whether it be a one day or a one week, the trip costs me no more than £2.30. There are pitfalls to doing this. You shouldn't have too much luggage and you have to be aware that in central London, you'll probably have to take steep escalators etc.

Others recommend car services. Time can vary greatly depending on traffic. Expect to pay £35-£50 but if you have three or four people, it's not that bad. Again traffic can be very variable.

The Airbus goes into London for about £11 return (round trip). Again traffic can be a problem but the airbus does stop near many of the major hotels.

The Paddington express is a very comfortable train service from Heathrow to Paddington station in an amazing 15 minutes. The only problem is that few of the hotels are near Paddington so you then have to either queue for a cab or take the tube anyway and the lines serving Paddington are the very slow District line service, the Metropolitan line, the Bakerloo line and the infamous Circle line. Some of the time savings can be eaten up in the last part of the journey.

Don't listen to anybody who says such and such is the definitive best way. Are yourelatively young and don't have much baggage. The tube is fine. Do you have a lot of baggage and have elderly people with you? You might prefer a cab. Are you a business person in a hurry to make a meeting? Perhaps the Paddington Express.

Try to read up on all the various ways to get in and then make your own informed decision.
 
Old Apr 9th, 2002, 10:03 PM
  #3  
sandy c(new bern)
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hi jamie,

I second jeff's recommendations. I recently went to london and paris with 4 other people. we originally thought to take the train in from gatwick if possible and save money on the hotel transfers.

about a month before, we took a look at our luggage and the fact that we had a 70 year old (she ended up walking circles around all of us) and realized that saving money may not be worth it.

we made the decision to hire a hotel transfer and it was the right decision for us. we were exhausted after the flight, had too much heavy luggage and our hotel was much farther from the tube station than we originally thought. (those maps are misleading) in fact, in hindsight, i thank my lucky stars we made that decision.

now the downside: we arrived at 7am london time. our hotel tranfer with ray skinner's group was great, but the drive from gatwick into central london took almost 2 hours because of rush morning traffic. we were fine with this (i snoozed the whole way) since we couldn't check in until 11am. however, if we had needed to be somewhere for business that morning this would not be the fastest way to get into london. on the back end we realized that we needed to leave much earlier to make sure we got thru customs in time to catch our flight.

as jeff suggested, you need to review your own situation. if you are in good health, travel light with luggage, and your hotel is near a major tube station or one or two hops away from a main one, i would say go for the train and tube route or train then cab. from heathrow, if it had been just me, i would definitely take the heathrow express and then taxi to my hotel.

i can't stress this enough; if you are carrying heavy luggage, walking those tube underground stations are murder, especially after a long flight.

if you decide to do the hotel transfer, please let me recommend ray skinner and his group, they are wonderful and also do private day trips. they met us right at the exitline from the flight and was early when returning us to our return flight. we also actually booked a day trip thru them to bath, stonehenge and salisbury for about 50£ apiece. had ray himself for our escort and a minivan. we had him at our disposal from 8am until after 9pm that night. it was a wonderful trip, saw much of the english countryside that we would not have seen on an escorted bus tour, and we touristed at our lesiure not a groups leisure. spent about 2 hours in bath, 2 at stonehenge, 2 at a wonderful pub called "the red lion" for a leisurely lunch. drove around the countryside and then spent some time in salisbury, before returning to london that evening. he drove us around london for about 2 hours to places that we just wanted to see (example buckingham palace) ect. then recommended a good pub for dinner, had dinner with us, then took us back to our hotel around 9pm. this was so well worth it. we figured we would have spent twice what that costs us to do it on our own.

his site is:

http://www.london-transfers.com/

someone here recommended this service and it was one of the best tips we had.

 
Old Apr 10th, 2002, 04:18 AM
  #4  
Rex
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Also well cited here (my own personal experience was in 1998, and the company's management and name have now changed) - - is http://euro-chauffeur.com - - formerly www.chaufffeur.co.uk (the much publicized "Eddie the Chauffeur" is no longer running the company).

And as to your title question - - I think that almost every US based (major) airline flies to London - - with the most obvious exceptions being AmericaWest and Southwest.

Best wishes,

Rex
 
Old Apr 10th, 2002, 06:15 AM
  #5  
toppers
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topping
 

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